Institutionalization is a realization of upgraded suppression: as much as hierarchy and exploitation are desirable and internalized, as much self-evident is the institution as something that regulates and normalizes hierarchy and exploitation, but also encourages their internalization. As the desire does not want revolution, but self-realization, the theatre performances framed in institutionalized engaged theatre fail beforehand. Even if they are based on a need to declare/stage some revolutionary desire, it dilutes in the usual context of production, consequently such performances slip into desire’s (re-presented, staged) opposite.
Exactly that is the basic problem of the theatre that wants to be political, yet it can not be realized as such within institution, or, with other words, in circumstances that are not political. The reason for that is the hierarchical and authoritarian operation mode that is inherent to institution. Saying political, I have in mind the space-time that is characterized by, referring to Emmanuel Barot, everlasting contradiction between the real and the possible; the political is also “an active experience of dispute and disagreement” (Camera politica). Therefore the key challenge is to cope with dominant hierarchical structure of production that ourselves are also contributing to one way or another.
The causes for hierarchization should be under scrutiny, both from the perspective of social structures and on the level of self psychology. These causes are embedded in socialization networks that cross through social and personal levels, i.e. they are attached to structures of symbolic capital. It is important to untangle those structures. Here I recall Deleuze and Guattari’s thesis on revolutionary as something inherent to desire. There is an emancipatory potential in desire’s (self-)realization: a promise of a conflict as breaking the existing and an act of exiting from status quo. Self-realization of desire—as a happening of “impossible” or “impossible” (within a) situation—requires establishing of production conditions which are different from the dominant ones. Self-organization of production enables realization of “impossible”.
Keywords: desire, hierarchization, symbolic capital, political, impossible.